We headed to Menorca for our summer holiday this year. Menorca is probably the least known Balearic island after Mallorca and Ibiza. I hadn't really heard of Menorca until my girlfriend started talking about it a few years back. She has been to Mallorca and we were together in Ibiza and now she wanted to check out Menorca. She told me how almost all people who have been to the Balearics said that Menorca was the most beautiful one.
It really came clear quickly why everyone says Menorca is the most beautiful! The island has few sides to it. In the north there is larger beaches with where the sea is more rough and the beaches have reddish brown color sand. The south coast is the more beautiful one for me! All of my photos below are from the beaches of the south coast. They are with white sand and the sea is much calmer. The water is just from its own world, you have to see it with your own eyes to believe it. We spent most of our days hitting the different beaches on the south coast and just enjoying the scenery, the sand between the toes and even though I'm on a holiday I can't stop taking photos and why would I want to stop in these kinds of places.
Things to do
We spent one week in Menorca and here are some of the things I think are must do’s while visiting the island.
See the beaches in the south coast: I think the most beautiful ones were Cala Macarreleta, Macarella and Cala Turqueta. Cala Macarella and Macarelleta are next to each other so you can checkout them with the same visit. However to get to those beaches is a little tricky because it can’t be accessed by car. The area where these beaches are located is protected so the only way to get there is with a bus from Ciutadella (the nearest town). Don’t worry if you have a car because there’s free parking next to the bus station. You can also get to Cala Turqueta by bus but also with a car. There is limited parking space in Cala Turqueta so you’ll have to go early.
Take a boat trip: On our last day we went to for a half a day boat trip from Cala Galdana, on the south coast. We were on a boat with 6 other people and the skipper. We saw some beaches virgin beaches which not so accessible from the land, we went to some caves and our skipper told us about the history of the island as well as the biodiversity and geology. He has formerly been a marine biologist so he new the things he was talking about. The skipper let us choose from the beaches we visited two where we would anchor up and swim and snorkel. All in all it was a great experience! I would recommend to do it in the beginning of your visit to get some local tips and get some kind of a picture of the coast and the beaches in the south. There is a lot of different companies that offer boat trips but I highly recommend the one we went to - Menorca en Barco!
Explore the towns: There is different kind of towns all around the island. The main city Mahon, where the airport is located we didn’t explore so much but we went for dinner in the port one evening. The promenade is full of different kinds of restaurants and its a nice place to go have dinner and see all the yachts in the marina. Probably my favorite town was Binibequer Vell. It a small old fishing town, nowadays quite popular among tourists, but it didn’t bother us. Its a beautiful town with all white buildings! So photogenic in my eyes. We also ate there the best paella I’ve ever had! Another nice smaller town to visit is Platges de Fornells. It’s on the north coast and we went there to see the sunset. Ciutadella was were our hotel was next to and it’s a great town (its the second biggest town after Mahon). You can find some nightlife from here and a lot of nice boutiques, restaurants and cafes.
Holiday shooting tips
There’s a lot of things to take into consideration to get the best photos on your beach holiday. Taking holiday photos shouldn’t be stressful so with good preparation you’ll get the most out of your holiday and the best photos you can take.
Get to know your camera (or the camera on your smartphone)
If you have purchased a new camera to take photos on your holiday try it out several times at home in your familiar surroundings and learn how to use it and what kind of different settings it has. Reading the users manual is often overlooked but just give it a glance, you’ll learn a lot about your camera. Or you can also watch some youtube videos about how to use your camera. Same goes to your smartphone. Even though you have been snapping photos with your smartphone you might not know about the different settings or shooting modes you can adjust. Nowadays the smartphones have such good cameras, you’d be surprised what kind of photos your camera can take.
Variety with an action cam
Action cameras such as Gopro are a great addition to take on your holiday. The newer action cameras are waterproof so you can get great photos under water! This gives you variety in your shots. All of my underwater photos have been taken with a gopro. If you don’t have an action camera or don’t want to spend money on one your smartphone might be waterproof. Even if your smartphone is water proof you might be a little scared to put you expensive phone underwater so investing into water proof case fo you phone might be a wise thing! You wouldn’t want anything to happen to your phone on your travels! And we don’t know how the saltwater affects to the phones anyway. Better safe than sorry!
On your trip document the normal things! Things that are just normal at home might end up being the most memorable photos looking back to your trip. Don’t just take out your camera in those typical sightseeing places. Document bits and pieces throughout of your holiday. Take photos of the local architecture, what does the local market look like? Did you buy some strange candy from the supermarket. Grab a photo of them.
Now that you have arrived to that place that you have seen on Instagram and you want to take the typical photo, what to do? I suggest to take a little more time to look around and think if you can somehow get a bit of a different angle or something unique or for that typical place. Of course you can still grab that typical photo but this way you will challenge yourself and become a better in capturing those moments and you will end up getting nicer photos.
Go high, get low
Variety is probably one of the most important things in you holiday photos. A lot of people (professional photographers also) End up shooting the similar kind of photos everywhere they go. Addition to thinking different like in the previous tip I suggest you to not only go up to a view point or on top a building to get different kinds of photos but to also try different camera angles. With a smartphone its easy to take a photo from low to the ground to make some building look bigger. Or hold your hand up high to get an angle from up high facing down. Not all photos should be take from your eye level.
Capturing memories should be fun so don’t take it too seriously. You can’t see or take a photo of every moment. Thats just a realization we have to live with. Remember to also take photos of yourself, your boyfriend/girlfriend or the people you met during your trip.
Hope you enjoyed the post! Let me know in the comments your thoughts and what kind of posts you would like to read from me.
Thank you, Pekka Juhani